Lock It Down Red Curry

Matt's arm, holding his massive Boy Dish of Curry.

This is the first in, hopefully, a line of recipes that make someone want to "lock it down". As in, Jamie Oliver or Nigella Lawson (who, I confess, was the basis for this curry until I completely went off the road with it) would swoon a bit. Gordon Ramsay would say "Well done, my darling". Bourdain would tell me I didn't suck and, well, what else could any one else desire?

Seriously. I've finally gotten down the spicy level down to a T and think it's all swimmingly delicious.

CAST OF CHARACTERSplease ignore the two handles of whiskey in the background. and the ashtray.
and yes, there are missing items.
this picture is just too funny to NOT post.

- (i had white, but have also used yellow and come on, play with it!) onion, chopped up
- as many cloves of garlic as your little heart desires, diced

- basil
- chicken breast, sliced into long thin bits

- mushrooms, sliced
- sweet potatoes, chopped (i peeled mine, do as you like)

- potatoes, chopped (i mostly peeled them, again, do as you like)
- garbanzo beans, one can, drained
- coconut milk, one can

- fish sauce
- toasted sesame oil

- red curry paste (mine was made from a powder blend i purchased at the spice house, then made with the fish sauce and a little water) - a few tbs, as desired for spiciness.
- pepper
- Trinidad-style lemon-garlic marinade seasoning
(also from the spice house - it's a blend of lemon peel, garlic, cloves, ginger, and kosher salt according to the website. i am addicted to this and love love love it in just about everything, ever. god i love the spice house.)
- wide rice noodles
- about a cup of chicken broth

- the green bits of scallions, chopped roughly, for the top.

(note: you can also use mangoes, if desired, or replace the beans with butternut squash. rice instead of noodles or change out the broth, any of the veg, etc etc. who says it has to be chicken? i've made it with shrimp when i found some on sale frozen shrimps. do what you will.)

Throw the onion, garlic, and basil in a pan and stir with some oil and a bit of butter until softened a bit. Add chicken, season with pepper and the trinidad seasoning. Add a little sesame oil. Cook until tender and delicious, even if not totally cooked through. Add the curry paste and stir. I then add the broth, the coconut milk, and a few dashes of fish sauce. Stir, throw in veg, the beans, let cook.

Try not to eat the screen, but really, I understand if you forget and reach out to steal a bite.

When nearly done, cook your noodles as per the directions on the packet.

Clearly, taste and season as you desire. More garlic? Less pepper? More salt? Whichever! Fresh ginger, sliced or grated, is also an amazing addition - put it in the start, with the onion and garlic.

You can mix the noodles and the curry together at the start or pour the curry over, then mix them for leftovers. There is no wrong way. Sprinkle the dish with the scallions, if you are using it. Then watch your roommates profess their undying love and make demands.

Ali, sprinkiling her food with scallion bits.

It's hard to demand with your mouth full, though. So you can pretend to ignore it.

The whole thing, after prep, takes about half hour or so, it's terribly fast. And depending on h
ow much you are hanging out, drinking, doing by yourself...the prep could take no time at all!

ENJOY. And let me know if this nets you any action.



It's getting chilly!

I don't know about where you are, but here the fake summer (which did, truth be told, give us some crazy hot days) has turned into crisp chill and it's easy to see that fall is zooming in. It's typical Chicago in that it does what it wants, when it wants, and for all we know there are some more heated days coming.

At any rate, I'm excited for the chillier days - though not the winter, blargh. I'm also excited for when I am less broke although as far as that goes, I have no idea. So tonight (and, yes, last night as well) I made some crazy cheap dinner. Tuna Mac. But not just the standard Mac-n-Cheese plus can of tuna equals NOM kind. OH NO.

- box of mac-n-cheese (last night I had whole wheat! tonight was standard)
- the milk/butter or oil/soymilk or whatever-you-like things to make said mac-n-cheese
- can of tuna (in oil or water, either way is fine)
- some onion, chopped up
- a few cloves of garlic, diced up
- sliced mushrooms
- seasonings of your choice (basil, lemon pepper, a sprinkle of bridgeport seasoning)

While your mac-n-cheese is, you know, mac-n-cheesing it - cook the onions, garlic, and mushrooms in some butter or oil. Season. If you like, you can do what I did tonight and add in a little milk. Add with the tuna to the mac-n-cheese when it's finished. Devour!

I also added some salsa verde just for some light heat but that's me.

Honestly, it's so delicious. You can add whatever veg you like or even none at all, but I figure the more veg the better. All together, given my ability to sniff out values, this is like a two dollar dinner. Delicious!!